Ponder and Pray

[ 0 ] April 17, 2009 |

Poignant Statement: But who is this that cometh from the tomb, with dyed garments from the bed of death? He that is glorious in His appearance, walking in the greatness of strength? It is thy Prince, O Zion! Christian, it is your Lord! He hath trodden the wine-press alone; He hath stained His raiment with blood; but now as the first-born from the womb of nature, He meets the morning of His resurrection. He arises, a conqueror from the grave; He returns with blessings from the world of spirits; He brings salvation to the sons of men. Never did the returning sun usher in a day so glorious! It was the jubilee of the universe!

 


 

Subject: HE-was, is and will be forever

Scripture: 1 Corinthian 15
For the last around two thousand years the Christians have been celebrating the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. All over the world it is known as ‘Good Friday and Easter’. I have no quarrel with nomenclature ‘Good Friday’ but have a real problem with the word Easter. It is because in the ancient days among Anglo Saxon paganism there was a goddess called Eostre and her festival was observed during the month of April and the word Easter is derived from there. Moreover those who are not aware of the word particularly in areas where the churches have come about with very little of Western culture the people find it hard to understand the relationship of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ with the word Easter. Well, some may argue that we now give new meaning to the old word. It is perfectly a great argument but no matter what, let us all know that the season has tremendous meaning and implication in our life for now and ever.

So, we should really be celebrating these two special and holy days with spiritual understanding as they have the most significant role to play in our lives. In fact Christmas and Good Friday and Easter are not festivities to celebrate only but to really thank, reflect and meditate. In the maddening commercialization of these special days we have really forgotten its spiritual and practical significance. I want to share with my readers some spiritual significance of Good ‘Friday and Easter’. For the sake of my own conviction I have repeatedly used the words Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Hope my reader will not be too bothered with the repetitions and emphasis.

– Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ assures us as believers that when we believe in Jesus He forgives all our past sins and failures. Even though we will not be able to forget our past sins yet it should not haunt us nor will God judge us on the basis of our past failures. The book of Romans 6:1-14 states that our old man is now gone for ever. Now that the old man is dead we would leave the old life behind. All our sins, failures and anything that bind us can be safely given to Jesus as He just took them all and hanged them on the cross. This is one of the most wonderful teachings of the Bible because this deals with past failures and guilt. It is not that we will never remember our sins but then each time we remember we declare that by the death and life of Jesus my sins and failures are gone for ever and I can walk free from any bondage of the past. Wow, what a relief for those who love the Lord but still had a very dark life in the past. As the chapter says it is not an excuse to keep sinning just because grace abound but this truth is an inspiration and motivation to walk in the newness of life.

– Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is unique event in the history of mankind. This event is part of the history and not some fairy tale or myth. After an appraisal of recent scholarship on the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Professor William Craig contends that “the resurrection appearances, the empty tomb, and the origin of the Christian faith – all point unavoidably to one conclusion: the resurrection of Jesus”. Source: “Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Truth 1 (1985): 89-95. Since Jesus rose from the dead in history then He cannot be equated with anyone or ignored by anyone. He is the Eternal God who appeared as human in history. Today those who talk about oneness of all faiths and universal belief are counted the real spiritual people. It has become a fashionable thing even among perfectly intelligent people to call themselves spiritual without any particular belief. The fuzzier and weirder your definition of spirituality the better you are looked upon as spiritual. Then there are people who equate Jesus as Krishna, Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi or even with some religious teacher which is most ludicrous. Whenever I talk to a man of some spiritual interest, the moment I talk about Jesus they say that Christ or so and so are the same. These are people who are nice and dead sincere people who think they do favor to us by accepting our Jesus and placing Christ with a deity or a great personality. I believe the people have the freedom to believe what they want to believe but those of us who know the meaning of Death and Resurrection we know that it is a loud proclamation of our ignorance when we equate Christ with Krishna or someone else. I know the people of the world can think what they want but when such pernicious teaching infiltrates the church by sometime well meaning Christian leaders then we face a serious heresy which must be loudly and unequivocally condemned.

– Dear and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ teaches us that our physical body is good. When Jesus was raised from the dead He rose in body and He has promised that all believers will also experience bodily resurrection. We find this truth incredible yet this is what the Bible teaches. This truth also has a very practical lesson for us today. Because the Lord Jesus rose from the dead our physical body is good and need to be nurtured. The old Greek philosophy taught that our body is like a prison of the soul. The more we negate the body the more we will be able to aspire the spiritual aspect of our lives. But the Bible says our bodies are the temples of God and we should keep it pure, healthy to fulfill God’s purposes in our life. This body lives and functions in our natural world and so while keeping the body pure we should also make sure our environment is nurtured.

– The Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ gives us the most radiant future. We are not going to disappear into nothingness like a snuffed candle or just floating in the unknown cosmic confusion or going to a place where all our carnal desires will be fulfilled or be born as an ant or a human being based on our Karma. The future of Christians incredibly magnificent. There are many passages which talk about our future. Read those passages in the Bible and you will see the amazing and lucid description of the future of all believers in a new world that is yet to come.

– The Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ gives us assurance that He is with us. We believe that He is not only risen from the dead but He is alive today and He is with us. He gave us ample promises such as in Mathews 18:20, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them”. There is the promise which says, “..and surely I am with you always, to the end of the age” The disciples knew Jesus was with them all the time because they had seen Him die on the cross and rise again. Today we are still in a position to claim this promise because He is very much active and active.

– Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the central theme of the message we are called to proclaim. This message is unique, historical with eternal consequences. Jesus healed and heals today, cast out demons and casts today and blessed the people of His day and He still does but the Gospel is not limited to those aspects of His life. The apostles preaching were penetratingly and uncompromisingly focused on Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. When Paul went around preaching He centralized His message on this aspect of Jesus life. He proclaimed “I am not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first to the Jews, then for the gentiles” Romans 1:16. Then he explains in most convincing ways the message of the Gospel.

– Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus tells us there is a not only an eternal life waiting for all believers but a new life for those who believe in Jesus Christ and this life is provided to us by the work of the Holy Spirit. Because of Jesus today we experience a new life which gives us power and wisdom to live a new life. This new life is described in the Bible in many ways but all signifying that our faith is in the Living Lord Jesus who empowers us to live a new life.

If Jesus had only taught, fed the hungry and healed the sick and then disappeared in the oblivion of the past then today there would not be those who believed in Jesus Christ. But He shed His blood on the cross and rose again from the dead. These three days event has changed the history of the world for ever and will determines the destiny of countless millions from the past to the end of the age.
Poignant Statement: But who is this that cometh from the tomb, with dyed garments from the bed of death? He that is glorious in His appearance, walking in the greatness of strength? It is thy Prince, O Zion! Christian, it is your Lord! He hath trodden the wine-press alone; He hath stained His raiment with blood; but now as the first-born from the womb of nature, He meets the morning of His resurrection. He arises, a conqueror from the grave; He returns with blessings from the world of spirits; He brings salvation to the sons of men. Never did the returning sun usher in a day so glorious! It was the jubilee of the universe!


Prayer: Lord, help me to fully understand and believe in this aspect of your life. Let me live a new life as I live on this earth and let me eagerly wait to the life to come which you have promised

Republished in new layout on 8/6/2013

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Category: Devotion